Non-prescription (OTC) medication does not need a GP signature/authorisation in order for the school/nursery/childminder to give it.
It has been brought to our attention that the revised 'The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework', which governs the standards of institutions looking after and educating children, includes a paragraph under specific legal requirements - medicines, that states: 'Medicines should only be taken to a setting when this is essential and settings should only accept medicines that have been prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist.' This has resulted in some parents making unnecessary appointments to seek a prescription for an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, just so it can be taken in nurseries or schools.
It is appropriate for OTC medicines to be given by parents, as they consider necessary, in the home or nursery environment. It is a misuse of GP time to take up an appointment just to acquire a prescription for a medicine, wholly to satisfy the needs of a nursery/school.
The Statutory Framework for the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) outlines the policy for administering medicines to children in nurseries/preschools 0-5 years
“The provider must promote the good health of children attending the setting. They must have a procedure, discussed with parents and/or carers, for responding to children who are ill or infectious, take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection, and take appropriate action if children are ill.
Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, for administering medicines. It must include systems for obtaining information about a child’s needs for medicines, and for keeping this information up-to-date.
Training must be provided for staff where the administration of medicine requires medical or technical knowledge. Medicines must not usually be administered unless they have been prescribed for a child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist (medicines containing aspirin should only be given if prescribed by a doctor).
Medicine (both prescription and non-prescription) must only be administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained from the child’s parent and/or carer. Providers must keep a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child, and inform the child’s parents and/or carers on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable”.